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Journal of Diabetes Research
Volume 2016, Article ID 8541520, 9 pages
Research Article

Puerarin Improves Diabetic Aorta Injury by Inhibiting NADPH Oxidase-Derived Oxidative Stress in STZ-Induced Diabetic Rats

1Key Lab for Pharmacology of Ministry of Education, Department of Pharmacology, Zunyi Medical College, Zunyi 563003, China
2Chengdu Chronic Diseases Hospital, Chengdu 610083, China
3State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences, University of Macau, Macau

Received 8 September 2015; Revised 30 October 2015; Accepted 3 November 2015

Academic Editor: Hiroshi Okamoto

Copyright © 2016 Wenping Li et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. Puerarin is a natural flavonoid isolated from the TCM lobed kudzuvine root. This study investigated the effect and mechanisms of puerarin on diabetic aorta in rats. Methods. Streptozotocin- (STZ-) induced diabetic rats were administered with puerarin for 3 weeks. Levels of serum insulin (INS), PGE2, endothelin (ET), glycated hemoglobin (GHb), H2O2, and nitric oxide (NO) in rats were measured by ELISA and colorimetric assay kits. The aortas were stained with H&E. Moreover, the mRNA expression of ICAM-1, LOX-1, NADPH oxidase 2 (NOX2), and NOX4 and the protein expression of ICAM-1, LOX-1, NF-κB p65, E-selectin, NOX2, and NOX4 in aorta tissues were measured by real-time PCR and Western blot, respectively. The localization of ICAM-1, NF-κB p65, NOX2, and NOX4 in the aorta tissues was also determined through immunohistochemistry. Results. Puerarin treatment exerted no effect on fasting blood glucose levels but significantly reduced the serum levels of INS, GHb, PGE2, ET, H2O2, and NO. In addition, puerarin improved the pathological alterations and inhibited the expression of ICAM-1, LOX-1, NOX2, and NOX4 at both mRNA and protein levels. Puerarin also significantly reduced the number of cells showing positive staining for ICAM-1, NOX2, NOX4, and NF-κB p65. Conclusion. Puerarin demonstrated protective effect on the STZ-induced diabetic rat aorta. The protective mechanisms may include regulation of NF-κB and inhibition of NOX2 and NOX4 followed by inhibition of cell adhesion molecule expression.